People allowed to meet in larger groups in Scotland as new rules come into force

Laura Paterson, PA Scotland
·2-min read

People are able to gather in larger groups as rules on meeting outdoors in Scotland have eased.

Up to four adults from two households will be able to meet outside after new rules came into force across mainland Scotland and some islands.

Previously, two adults from two households were able to meet outdoors.

Further changes now in force include allowing people aged 12 to 17 to meet in groups of up to four from up to four households.

Walkers in Kelvingrove Park
Previously people were limited to meeting in groups of two from two households (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Outdoor, non-contact sports for adults in groups of up to 15 are able to restart.

Some areas in Scotland: Orkney, Shetland, Skye and much of the Inner Hebrides, remain under Level 3 restrictions.

There, up to six adults from two households, and six people aged 12-17 from six households, can meet outdoors.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “All of these changes are focussed on enhancing people’s wellbeing and together they represent gradual but important steps towards greater normality.”

Ms Freeman also confirmed that a national minute’s silence will be held on March 23, the anniversary of lockdown.

The latest figures show 17 deaths from coronavirus and 682 positive tests were recorded in the past 24 hours.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 7,500.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland’s progress in vaccinations, falling coronavirus cases and a reduction in deaths and hospital admissions from the virus, had enabled the “modest…but important” changes.

Ms Sturgeon said: “They will, I hope, help people’s health and wellbeing, by enabling group exercise, and allowing for a bit more social interaction.

“They will also, I hope, let children see more of their friends, and exercise and play a bit more normally.”

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the changes at Holyrood (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

She also warned of the need for caution in easing lockdown to avoid the virus running out of control.

Further changes are planned for Scotland on Monday as more pupils return to school.

All pupils will be back in primary schools full-time, with the return of P4-P7 with in-class learning restarting for more secondary school students.